Earlier this year I launched a new feature on this website to offer you, my readers, an extra insight into the world of the Conquest Series. Entitled Tancred’s England, the idea is to share with you some of the research that goes into writing the novels, by exploring the history of
Earlier this year I launched a new feature on this website to offer you, my readers, an extra insight into the world of the Conquest Series. Entitled Tancred’s England, the idea is to share with you some of the research that goes into writing the novels, by exploring the history of some of the key locations visited by Tancred in the course of his saga.Ahead of the publication of The Splintered Kingdom in the US on Tuesday, August 5th – just two weeks from today – I’ve put up a piece about the the turbulent border region known as the Welsh March (Latin: Marchia Wallie), which forms the backdrop for the novel.
It’s a part of Britain that’s particularly rich in history, much of which can be freely accessed today. Ancient hill-forts, ruined castles and abbeys all abound, while for 64 miles the great Anglo-Saxon earthwork known as Offa’s Dyke cuts across this striking landscape. Named after the eighth-century Mercian king who is traditionally thought to have ordered its construction, the Dyke delineated the default boundary between England and Wales throughout much of the Middle Ages, and even after 1,200 years it remains a powerful symbol of Offa’s authority.As well as adding the new entry, I’ve also updated the main hub page for Tancred’s England, which now features a map of the British Isles c.1071. You’ll also notice that the menu bar at the top of the page now has a drop-down arrow for quicker access to each of the entries. As well as the article on the Welsh March, there are currently pieces exploring London, York and Ely and the Fens.
I’ll be adding more entries in due course. One of those in the pipeline is about the city of Durham, where Tancred’s tale begins on that cold winter’s night in January 1069. As always, if you have any suggestions for places I could feature in future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact form.
“A man always remembers his first kill,” says Tancred in the opening line of Knights of the Hawk, published today in paperback in the UK, as he reflects on a life lived by the sword.
A year on from the end of The Splintered Kingdom, Tancred is more driven and ambitious than ever. In
A year on from the end of The Splintered Kingdom, Tancred is more driven and ambitious than ever. In this, the third instalment in his saga, he casts off some of the shackles binding him and strikes out on his own. Opening during the siege of Ely, where the infamous English outlaw Hereward the Wake has gathered a band of rebels to make one final, last-ditch stand against the Normans, Knights sees Tancred journeying overseas for the first time in the series.
Together with a host of unlikely allies, he sets out on a journey that will take him from the marshes of East Anglia into the wild, storm-tossed seas of the north, as he ventures in pursuit of love, of honour, and of vengeance. Just as in the previous two novels, battles and betrayals abound, but this time it’s personal.
Knights of the Hawk is available from all good high street bookshops and online, and also as an ebook for all major formats of readers. To celebrate the paperback release, I have a number of events lined up, with more being added to the calendar all the time, so keep checking back to see if I’ll be making an appearance in your area soon.
You can also find an entry on Ely and the Fens in my new website feature, Tancred’s England, if you’re interested in finding out more about the setting for Tancred’s latest adventure. As a special web-only bonus, I’ve included a map of how the area would have looked in the Middle Ages before the marshes were drained. There wasn’t space to include it in the book, but I think helps to illustrate the difficult nature of the terrain facing the Normans as they laid siege to Hereward’s island stronghold.
“The sword-path is never a straight road, but rather ever-changing, encompassing many twists and turns,” says Tancred in Knights of the Hawk. “All a man can do is follow it and see where it leads.”
Knights, the third novel in the Conquest Series, which is due to be published in paperback in the UK on
Knights, the third novel in the Conquest Series, which is due to be published in paperback in the UK on Thursday 22nd May, sees Tancred journeying further afield than ever before, setting out across the length and breadth of Britain and making common cause with some unlikely allies as he strives for honour, vengeance and love.
Set in the autumn of 1071, Knights of the Hawk begins during the siege of the Isle of Ely, where the infamous English outlaw Hereward the Wake has gathered a band of rebels to make one final, last-ditch stand against the Normans. As King William’s attempts to assault the rebels’ island stronghold end in disaster, however, the campaign begins to stall. With morale in camp failing, the king turns to Tancred to deliver the victory that will crush the rebels once and for all and bring England firmly within his grasp. But events are conspiring against Tancred, and soon he stands to lose everything he has fought so hard to gain.
Look out for it appearing in a bookshop or a supermarket near you. As always, e-book editions are available on all platforms for the more technologically inclined. If you can’t wait until publication day to get a taste of what’s in store, you can read an extract from the beginning of the book.
And if you’re interested in finding out more about the setting and how the landscape might have looked at the time of the Norman Conquest, there’s an entry on Ely and the Fens in “Tancred’s England”, my historical guide to the kingdom c.1066. Don’t worry, there are no spoilers! As a special web-only bonus, there’s also a map of how the area would have looked in the Middle Ages before the marshes were drained, which unfortunately there wasn’t space to include in the book.
Readers in the US unfortunately have a little longer to wait before Knights is available, but in the meantime there’s The Splintered Kingdom to look forward to. Set in the borderlands between England and Wales, it’ll be published this August, and I’ll be revealing more about it in the coming months. Watch this space!
Tell your friends! Today, the brand new paperback edition of Sworn Sword will be hitting bookshelves across the United States. Featuring an updated, more vibrant cover design (similar to the UK paperback cover; see below right), it also contains a short excerpt from the sequel, The Splintered Kingdom, which is due to be published this
Tell your friends! Today, the brand new paperback edition of Sworn Sword will be hitting bookshelves across the United States. Featuring an updated, more vibrant cover design (similar to the UK paperback cover; see below right), it also contains a short excerpt from the sequel, The Splintered Kingdom, which is due to be published this August and of which I’ll be posting more details here in the next few months.Published by the wonderful people at Sourcebooks Landmark, a copy can be yours for the meagre sum of just $14.99 (list price). There’s good news for eBook afficionados too – for anyone with a Kindle, Nook or other device who would like a taste of what’s in store before buying the whole novel, the first 5 chapters (equivalent to about 45 pages of the print edition) have also been made available to download as a free teaser.
I’m pleased to say, as well, that Sworn Sword has been picking up excellent reviews since its hardback publication last summer, including one in Publishers Weekly and another recently in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Thanks to all those of you who have kindly taken the time to email me through the Contact page or sent messages on Twitter and Facebook to say how much you’ve enjoyed the book and are looking forward to Tancred’s further adventures. He and his brothers-in-arms will ride again in the not-too-distant future!
If you already own the hardcover edition of Sworn Sword and can’t wait until August to find out where Tancred’s travels will be taking him in The Splintered Kingdom, you can find the synopsis as well as the first chapter, which is available to download for free, here.
The wait is over! Knights of the Hawk, the third novel in the Conquest series, is published today in the UK by Preface, both in hardback and also – for the more digitally inclined among you – as an e-book.
Autumn, 1071. Five years after the fateful Battle of Hastings, only a desperate band of
The wait is over! Knights of the Hawk, the third novel in the Conquest series, is published today in the UK by Preface, both in hardback and also – for the more digitally inclined among you – as an e-book.Autumn, 1071. Five years after the fateful Battle of Hastings, only a desperate band of rebels in the Fens, led by the feared outlaw Hereward, stands between King William and absolute conquest. Tancred is among the Normans marching to destroy them. But as their attempts to assault the rebels’ island stronghold are thwarted, the King grows ever more frustrated. With the campaign stalling and morale in camp failing, he looks to Tancred to deliver the victory that will crush the rebellions once and for all.
Thus begins Tancred’s latest adventure, which sees him facing his greatest challenge yet as he ventures from the marshes of East Anglia to the wild, storm-tossed seas of the north in pursuit of love, of honour, and of vengeance.
Over the course of the next month I’ll be travelling the length and breadth of the country doing talks and book signings and panel events. It all kicks off on Tuesday 29 October when I’ll be launching Knights at the White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough. After that I’ll be travelling up to Doncaster to a signing at Waterstones in the Frenchgate Centre on Saturday 2 November, and then over the course of the next few weeks you’ll be able to find me in Salisbury, Bedford and Cambridge.As always, full details about all my forthcoming events can be found on the Events page. If it doesn’t look at the moment as though I’ll be coming to a venue near you, try putting in a request for an event with your local library or bookshop – they’re always keen to get authors in to talk about their work and do book signings.
And before you ask, Knights of the Hawk is not the end of the series. Tancred will ride again soon! I’m currently in the middle of researching my next project, which I’m very excited about. I’ll be revealing more details about that over the coming months.
If you haven’t done so already, put Thursday 24th October in your diaries! Why? Because in just over two weeks from now, Knights of the Hawk, the third novel in the Conquest series, is due to be published in the UK.
Almost a year has passed since the end of The Splintered Kingdom, so
Almost a year has passed since the end of The Splintered Kingdom, so that by the time that Knights begins, it’s already autumn, 1071. The battle for England has been long and brutal. Now only a desperate band of rebels, among them the feared outlaw Hereward the Wake, stands between King William and absolute conquest. Determined to root out those rebels from their island stronghold at Ely in the Fens, the king has gathered an army numbering in the thousands. Among them, as ever, is our hero Tancred, determined to restore his dwindling reputation. And it is to Tancred and his allies that the king, frustrated by the campaign’s various setbacks, turns to in search of a strategy to crush the rebellion.So begins Tancred’s latest adventure! The full synopsis is here. I’ll also be posting a sample chapter from the novel in due course. Already I’ve begun putting together my events schedule for the coming months, so have a look to see if I’m due to be appearing in your area to give a talk or do a signing.
If you can’t make it along to any of the venues listed, don’t worry! I’m adding new dates to the schedule all the time. You can also try putting in a request for an event with your local bookshop or library, who are always eager to have authors in.
By the way, there’s also good news for readers in Germany, where The Splintered Kingdom is due to be published in translation, under the title Die Ritter des Nordens, on 16th December – just in time for Weihnachten! I’ll be posting more details of that release closer to the time.
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